As community members and organizers who were heavily involved in the extensive planning and engagement activities that led to the Detroit Future City (DFC) Strategic Framework, we have a responsibility to our constituents to be stewards of the Strategic Framework, which has been widely adopted as the starting point for the transformation of Detroit. Accordingly, we feel it’s necessary to correct Professor Peter Hammer’s misinterpretations of the role the DFC Strategic Framework Implementation Office plays in our city.
In our combined 50 years of service to Detroit and its citizens, we have witnessed countless “plans” with good intentions to transform the city for the better. While initially impressive, we now realize that these plans lacked many of the important components that make DFC, “one of the best comprehensive plans for thinking in the short, medium, and long term about reinvention of the city.” (Thomas Sugrue, author of Origins of the Urban Crisis).
Hammer’s claims that grassroots and community organizations were not consulted and their views are not reflected in the DFC Strategic Framework are not true. The outreach and engagement was more robust than any planning initiative that’s occurred in Detroit over the last 50 years. The planning effort was steadfast in our outreach and accessibility. In fact, we had 163,000 different interactions with people during the planning process and received 70,000 survey responses. Input we received from Detroiters can literally be found on the pages of the DFC Strategic Framework.
No debate: Detroit Future City is the People’s Plan
Heaster Wheeler and Alice Thompson, April 2, 2014, Michigan Chronicle